Jaguar boosts Solihull plant with 800 new jobs

Luxury car-maker bucks sector's moribund  trend as it responds to  international demand

Jaguar Land Rover will give the British carmaking industry a much-needed boost today, as the luxury motor manufacturer announces 800 new jobs at its factory in Solihull.

Just two days after Honda sent shockwaves through the UK car industry by announcing 800 job cuts in Swindon, Jaguar Land Rover said demand for its luxury vehicles from countries such as China, the US and Russia was now so strong that it would be recruiting additional staff.

The Solihull plant employs and makes the Range Rover, Discovery and Defender models. It has been making vehicles since 1948.

The group revealed plans to beef up its Solihull plant as it reported a 30 per cent surge in global sales to a record 357,773 vehicles for last year.

China became the group's biggest market last year, overtaking the UK after sales to the country soared by 71 per cent to 71,940 vehicles. The UK came next, with sales increasing 19 per cent to a record 68,333, followed by the US, up 11 per cent at 55,675. Sales to Russia and Germany increased by 43 per cent and 41 per cent respectively. Speaking as the Detroit motor show kicked off, Phil Popham, Jaguar Land Rover's director of group sales, said: "2012 has been a strong year… Looking ahead to 2013, we are continuing to invest in our business to support our ambitious plans for growth and we will be introducing eight new or refreshed products throughout the year."

The new jobs continue a remarkable turnaround at Jaguar Land Rover since India's Tata motors bought the company from Ford in 2008 for £1.1bn.

At that point the company was struggling as the credit crisis had hit sales hard and it was making about 100,000 cars a year.

However, Tata injected cash into the business and sales rebounded. The company is now two years into a five-year expansion plan with a target of making 600,000 sales a year. The expansion plans include the launch of a sporty new Range Rover, which is expected to be unveiled in April.

They demonstrate that demand for luxury products is holding up well, especially in fast-growing emerging markets such as China and Russia.

It will come as a sharp relief to Britain's car industry after the more mainstream car-maker, Honda, announced a further 800 job losses at its Swindon plant on Friday, blaming weak demand across Europe.

This was the first time Honda has cut its workforce at the plant – which produces the Civic, Jazz and CR-V models – since it came to the UK in 1992. The redundancies raised fears there could be more job losses on the cards in the mainstream UK vehicle-making industry, with demand in Europe's beleaguered car industry at its weakest for nearly two decades and the market showing little sign of recovery.

Earlier this month, GM – which owns UK-based Vauxhall – shocked the industry when it forecast that European care sales will weaken further this year. The UK exports 82 per cent of the cars it makes, of which about half go to Europe.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Voices
Barn owls are among species that could be affected
charity appeal
Sport
After another poor series in Sri Lanka, Alastair Cook claimed all players go through a lean period
cricketEoin Morgan reportedly to take over ODI captaincy as ECB finally wield the axe
Life and Style
food + drink
Voices
John Profumo and his wife Valerie Robson in 1959
voicesWard committed no crime, and the truth is still being covered up, writes Geoffrey Robertson QC
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Finance Director

£65000 - £80000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Finance Director required to jo...

Recruitment Genius: Medico-Legal Assistant

£15000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a unique opportunity fo...

Ashdown Group: (PHP / Python) - Global Media firm

£50000 per annum + 26 days holiday,pension: Ashdown Group: A highly successful...

The Jenrick Group: Quality Inspector

£27000 per annum + pension + holidays: The Jenrick Group: A Quality Technician...

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas